As the 2016 CrossFit Games are history, we witnessed amazing feats of athleticism and perseverance by the most committed people in our sport.
To make it to the Regionals, and onto the Games requires amazing dedication and focus.
Where is My/Your Focus?
These athletes are not just physically strong, they are mentally tough. They have mental discipline and focus. They set their goal and pursue it with fury.
How about you? Have you ever had a period where you seem to be spinning your wheels. You may be incredibly busy, but there doesn’t seem to be any purpose. It can be frustrating. And unsatisfying.
I suspect I am not alone.
This has been a year of chaos for me. While I have been successful in the pursuit of several short term goals, I have struggled setting long term goals which will be of lasting benefit.
A sampling of my Short Term successes:
- 30 Day 10K Kettlebell Swing Challenge
- 30 Day Nutrition Challenge
- CrossFit Open (five weeks)
- 2 CrossFit Partner Competitions (Co-ed and Same-Sex)
- Olympic Barbell Club
- Successfully completed CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
These are all valid accomplishments, BUT there is no end in mind. These are random goals, chosen simply to keep me moving in a forward direction. Not necessarily in the right direction, but at least forward.
There are many reasons (or excuses) but the reality is that I am having a great deal of difficulty maintaining my focus.
For much of 2016, I have suffered from a very short attention span. To illustrate how distracted I have been, the first draft of this essay was written during the Open. Here I am with over forty revisions, and the Games are over, and I just published the article.
Where has my attention gone? I fear it has been swallowed up in a digital quagmire:
(e-mails, SMS messages, Facebook, Pinterest, Flipboard, Quora, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Member sites, Member Forums, Audio Books, Podcasts)
If one is not vigilant in these digital times, your attention span may become non-existent.
I began my digital detox process by eliminating several e-mail accounts, filtering messages and unsubscribing from a few pesky mailbox abusers. I struggle to limit my Facebook access.
A long term goal must minimize distraction and maximize focus. Benchmarks for success must be binary. You did or you did not. (That is not to suggest that success is not incremental, even if minutely. But you must take action.)
Chaos is the antithesis of Focus
If I were to attempt to summarize my long term goal, in a single phrase, what would it be? And as important, why?
As I struggle to define my goal, I Googled to find samples of typical fitness goals. How disappointing. Many were simply Punch lists, or Bucket lists, not unlike my own list that began this article.
Begin with the end in mind.” – Stephen R Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Really, what’s your goal? To workout?
Perhaps I am just a crusty old bastard, but in my opinion, working out is not a goal, it is a means to an end. So let’s define the end. As productivity guru Stephen R. Covey told us decades ago, “Begin with the end in mind!”
This is coaching at it’s most basic level. What do you wish to achieve? What do you want to be? Why is this important to you?
My desire is to define ONE single fitness goal, that is overarching, so I can examine the next shiny object and make a quick determination of whether this serves my goal, or is it simply a distraction.
To do so, I must isolate myself for a few hours. Avoid all distraction, examine where I have succeeded, and where I have failed. Understand why. Turn off my phone and my computer. I must grab a sheet of blank paper, or stand at a whiteboard and just brainstorm.
It’s time to imagine my potential, and how I can achieve it.
How about you? Are you struggling? Going through the motions, unable to identify your destination? If so, join in on the Comments. If you have tips to help reader regain their Focus, please share them.